2. The Death of Gwen Stacy
Meeting Mary Jane Watson changed Peter Parker's life for the better, and the death of Gwen Stacy was the complete antithesis of it. "Amazing Spider-Man" #121-122 by Gerry Conway and Gil Kane not only shockingly ended the life of Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker's fist great love, but the classic comic also effectively ended the Silver Age of comics. Before the Green Goblin pitched the innocent Gwen Stacy off the Brooklyn Bridge (oddly called the George Washington Bridge in the issue's), comics only dabbled in the illusion of change. By issue's end, everything would always return to the status quo, but following the death of Gwen Stacy comics had an anything goes feel and left readers with the impression that even the most sacred of idols could be dispatched with no warning. When Gwen Stacy died, she took innocence with her. Gwen's death added another layer of responsibility to Peter Parker's heroic mission; he now bears responsibility for both his Uncle Ben's demise and that of his lost love. The incident on the bridge also made Norman Osborn one of the most reviled villains in Marvel history, paced perfectly by Conway and Kane with readers' hearts stopping as Gwen is thrown from the bridge, followed by a beat where they feel a sense of relief as Spider-Man seemingly saves her life with an expertly delivered web line -- at least until they notice the tiny but all-important "snap" that left Gwen's neck was broken. Everything changed as the beautiful, brilliant and vibrant love of Peter's young life was no more, Gwen's lifeless body cradled in Peter's arms. The moment hurt and defined a generation of comic readers, and soon, it could define a generation of film goers as well, if "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" could possibly revisit this shocking moment.